cover image of The Christmas Banquet

The Christmas Banquet

Short Story

by Nathaniel Hawthorne


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   Not today

Every year the ten most miserable people in town are invited to a Christmas banquet. Their misery is shared alongside the holiday feast, and every year, an increasingly wretched Gervayse Hastings makes his appearance. Over time, all the other guests seem to have grown in character and risen above their sad condition, except of course, Mr. Hastings.

Author Nathaniel Hawthorne originally subtitled this anti-Christmas tale "An Allegory of the Human Heart". "A Christmas Banquet" might sit in stark contrast to other classics like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but it serves as a reminder that the holidays can be a time of human suffering and loneliness as well as joy and good tidings.

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Publication Details

HarperCollins Canada
HarperPerennial Classics
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Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author)

Born in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for his historical tales and novels about American colonial society. After publishing The Scarlet Letter in 1850, its status as an instant bestseller allowed him to earn a living as a novelist. Full of da...

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The Christmas Banquet
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